Los Angeles, California – On Sunday, October 14th 2018, Rachel McKinnon, a 36-year-old Canadian man, became the first man to win gold in the women’s 35-44 age bracket at the UCI Masters track championships.
Man Beats Women in Women’s Sports
Sooooo…I’m a WORLD CHAMPION.#rainbowfoxracing #rainbowfox #womenwholift #herthighness #quaddess #quadzilla #quadgoals #thefutureisfoxy #wtfsracebikes #sprinter #trackcycling #cycling… https://t.co/Q9pdMHn6Kx
— Dr. Rachel McKinnon (@rachelvmckinnon) October 14, 2018
McKinnon proudly announced his win on Twitter, but nearly all responses on the social media platform were critical of the ethics of the race.
This spells the beginning of the end of women’s sports. Consider the possibility of trans women in all of them and see who they will displace. It is wrong. It is unethical. Incidentally: I wonder whether the winner’s testosterone levels were legal for this race?
— Appy (@joelapp) October 17, 2018
Another cheat that can’t win against his own sex. Speak out sports women while you still have a sport
— *RadFemPirate* (@RadFemPirate) October 14, 2018
This happened yesterday. A MALE smashed a women’s cycling world record and the dreams of all the female competitors. The principle of the level playing field in sport is being made a laughing stock. If you care about women’s sport please speak up now @judymurray @Martina @sebcoe pic.twitter.com/XrXwwk4RIs
— FairPlayForWomen (@fairplaywomen) October 14, 2018
You think it’s great for a man to compete against women?
— Pete Powell (@PetePowell16) October 14, 2018
For clarity – this was the WOMENS world championships.
I repeat. Women’s.
Congratulations to the brave faces of silver & bronze. The world is gripped by a febrile madness. pic.twitter.com/P6VkaNFeyy
— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) October 14, 2018
It’s not just women who feel that way, trust me.
— Zell (@ZellTietj) October 14, 2018
how you were born. You don’t have to work as hard for the same results because of biological advantage, this is profoundly unfair.
— Dragris (@DragHris) October 14, 2018
Guy weighs 190, strong as an ox and wins the women’s cyclist world championship against women who weigh 120 lbs. You are so proud to get a trophy. Now that, in my opinion, is the epitome of severe ‘self deception’.
— Johnny (@SoFLBrgOverload) October 15, 2018
Let’s ignore the very real biological differences between you and a biological female. Let’s pretend your muscle and skeletal make up is not that of a man, giving you an unfair physical advantage based strictly on biology. Yippee you’re the champion 🙄
— Beccaboo2 (@Beccabo59413594) October 15, 2018
Jen Wagner-Assali, who came in third place, declared the competition unfair and announced: “There’s a group of us working on getting the rules changed.”
I was the 3rd place rider. It’s definitely NOT fair.
— jen wagner-assali (@jkwagnermd) October 15, 2018
McKinnon responded with indignation at the suggestion that he is a cheater who took advantage of his biological and physiological advantages over women to gain wins that he as a mediocre athlete would not otherwise have. “There is absolutely no evidence that I have an unfair advantage,” he stated in an interview with Velo News.
However, the sciences have found that men have a higher percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibers than women, allowing men to cycle with more power and at a faster cadence. Men also have larger internal organs than do women, including hearts and lungs. Men’s larger lung size in combination with the greater mass of hemoglobin in men’s blood together mean that men have greater capacity for oxygen. Men have bones that are more dense, and greater muscle mass. Men’s difference in hip structure provides an additional advantage in cycling. None of these qualities – which grant male cyclists a significant advantage over female cyclists – vanish based on a man’s inner identity or feelings, consumption of hormones, or even surgeries.
Additionally, no women – including women who have disorders of sexual development (“intersex” conditions) – have testosterone levels anywhere near as high as men, including men who identify with gender identity and use cross-sex hormones. The average woman has 2.8 NMOL/L of testosterone, while the average man has 23-25 NMOL/L.
Lots of transphobic bigots are responding to my world championship win saying that ‘Next up, the paralympics.’ Hey women, you realize that ALL of these people (many of them women) are comparing you to disabled people…right? Women = ‘disabled men’ they think. Wow. Offensive. pic.twitter.com/K5cbZgaOMc
— Dr. Rachel McKinnon (@rachelvmckinnon) October 14, 2018
It should be noted that there is a growing number of people – mainly men – who identify as “trans-abled.” While such an individual is able-bodied, his or her brain does not properly map a certain body part, and therefore refuses to accept that the limb is a valid part of his or her own body. Such individuals go as far as to present and live as disabled people, or even render themselves disabled by destroying or amputating the limb that offends them once they are unable to convince a doctor to surgically remove the healthy body part.
In a society that has come to center identity and devalue material reality, is not far-fetched to believed that an able-bodied person will someday enter sports competitions against the disabled, using identity as a defense.
In a January 2018 interview with USA Today, McKinnon declared, “We cannot have a woman legally recognized as a trans woman in society, and not be recognized that way in sports. Focusing on performance advantage is largely irrelevant because this is a rights issue. We shouldn’t be worried about trans people taking over the Olympics. We should be worried about their fairness and human rights instead.”
McKinnon insisted in the interview that participation in sports is a natural human right, and those who identify as transgender must have the absolute right to compete in sports, and without any checks and balances, such as the limits on testosterone imposed by the International Olympic Committee in an effort to decrease transgender-identified men’s natural advantage in sports over women.
“This is bigger than sports and it’s about human rights,” McKinnon claims. “By catering to cisgender people’s views, that furthers transgender people’s oppression.”
Biologically male people, regardless of gender identity, have always had the right to play sports, however. It is women who had to fight long and hard for centuries to have a place in sports. The right had not yet gained a strong foothold, as women are still largely forbidden to participate in sports in some places in the world. In nations that bar women from sports, like Iran, women’s professional teams are filled with men posing as women.
As people who are biologically male enter women’s sports in growing numbers, the small place that women carved out for women and their daughters rests on shaky foundation.
Featured image credit: Ero Sports
Read more about men who identify as trans competing in women’s sports
Transgender Sports: Men and Women Have Physical Differences That No Surgery or Hormone Treatment Can Change
Kate Hall won the 100m sprint at regionals her sophomore year. But a year later, Hall was beat by Andraya Yearwood, a high school freshman. Yearwood was born male but “identifies” as female. At the time of the race, he had not undergone hormone treatment or surgery to “transition from male to female.” Much of the debate about “transgender” athletes has focused on testosterone. Consider the NCAA policy for such transgender athletes focuses only on testosterone. Testosterone plays a big role in athletic performance. But when we start talking about high-performance competition, especially in track and field, small variations make all the difference. These go well beyond testosterone.
A New Zealand physiology professor says transgender athletes have advantages over their female competitors and more research needs to be done by sporting regulators before they should compete against each other. Otago University professor in physiology Alison Heather has researched transgender changes, particularly in top level sport. She is adamant international sporting regulation bodies such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have rushed a decision to include transgender athletes in male and female categories, as there has not been enough research.
Rachel McKinnon became the first transgender woman to win a world title at the 2018 UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships at the VELO Sports Center in Los Angeles, California, on Sunday. Representing Canada, McKinnon beat Carolien Van Herrikhuyzen (Netherlands) in the gold-medal round of the women’s 35-44 sprint. “First transgender woman world champion…ever,” McKinnon posted on Twitter following the event.
A Canadian transgender athlete has been slammed by a competitor after becoming the first to win a cycling world championship. Dr Rachel McKinnon, who was born a male, won gold in the women’s 35-44 age bracket at the UCI Masters track championships in Los Angeles on Sunday. “First transgender woman world champion…ever*”, she posted on social media alongside a photo on the podium with second- and third-place finishers, Carolien Van Herrikhuyzen of the Netherlands and Jennifer Wagner of the US.
Journal of Sports Science & Medicine
Sex is a major factor influencing best performances and world records. Here the evolution of the difference between men and women’s best performances is characterized through the analysis of 82 quantifiable events since the beginning of the Olympic era. For each event in swimming, athletics, track cycling, weightlifting and speed skating the gender gap is fitted to compare male and female records. It is also studied through the best performance of the top 10 performers in each gender for swimming and athletics.